My Dad passed away 12 years ago and I miss him still. At certain moments, I miss him so much it makes me sob like a baby. It might be in the middle of the grocery store or while watching a commercial or making dinner. Often, it’s when we are on vacation. Vacation reminds me of my childhood. I look at my children and I wish they knew him. I see grandpas with kids and I wish he was there with his grace and his humor and his charm. His eyes sparkled and his confidence was never shaken. He was a man who was comfortable in his skin and when he was on your side, the world was your oyster.
My dad was warm, funny, intelligent, and kind. He was steady and calm. His advice for a happy life was to work hard, go to church, and love your family. I love the quote by Leonardo Da Vinci that says “Simplicity is the highest form of sophistication.” My dad was sophisticated. He was classy, loyal, and reliable.
My dad was a Marine in World War II. This meant our shoes were always shined and we were fined a dollar if we didn’t wear a belt!! I cringe to think of what he would say about all the young people with their “pants on the ground” today. I wish I had asked more about the war. I wish I knew what it was like and how it changed him.
One time I told my dad I wanted to marry someone like him because, “You know everything.” And he said, “Oh, no, honey, you want to make sure someone marries you because YOU know everything.” Good advice, don’t you think?
Thanks Dad. Thanks for talking to me and listening to me and telling me I’m beautiful and smart. Thanks for thinking I could get into Northwestern (his alma mater) even though there wasn’t even a sliver of a chance that would happen. Thanks for working hard for our family and for taking us to church. Thanks for loving mom and disciplining us (mostly my brothers). Thank you for showing me my own worth, for holding a mirror up to me so I could see what you see. Thank you for being simple, grateful, faithful, and kind. I know that you are with God in Heaven and I know when you arrived, He said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Well done, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!